If you were to ask me what my favourite cuisines were, Japanese probably would not spring to mind. And I cannot claim to know much about Japanese food, but I do know that I like noodles. And edamame. And rice. And ramen.
So I was both intrigued and excited to pay my first visit to Kanada-Ya (to their second branch, just off Haymarket), which is famous for having queues down the street.
Inside Kanada-Ya, the lighting is dim but I really liked the interior.
Whilst sipping our drinks - iced green tea for Georgie, less authentic Diet Coke for me - we perused the menu, umming and ahhing over what to choose. Alcohol-wise, it's beer or beer at Kanada-Ya, but I was thrilled to hear they will soon be serving cocktails too, hoorah!
There are eight different ramen bowls from which to choose and then an array of sides, and it wasn't long after placing our order with our delightful French-but-apparently-Japanese-speaking waiter that our sides arrived. First up: ume onigiri.
Next up: truffle edamame.
And to finish our trio of sides: karaage.
And we'd barely made a start on our sides before the main affairs arrived. Ramen time!
The noodles are hand-pulled (whatever that means) and the pork bone broth takes 18 hours to make. It's served with chashu pork collar, spring onion and porcini truffle paste. #truffle4lyf
Quote Georgie: "Mine just had ridiculous flavour."
Were it not for the pork, I'd totally have chosen the same one, but being not a huge pork fan, I went for the veggie ramen:
It. Was. So. Good!
The broth was salty but not overpoweringly so, and the creaminess was unexpected but pleasing. The noodles - although you can't see them, there were loooaaaads of noodles in there - were great. They softened as we ate, soaking up all that gorgeous broth.
And because I'm an unskilled peasant who can't use chopsticks, the staff kindly gave me a fork. Messy to eat, is ramen, but I think that adds to its charm.
There's only one thing on the pudding menu at Kanada-Ya: soft serve ice cream. Matcha is always on offer, plus one other flavour that changes. Not being a huge matcha fan, I was disappointed to learn they'd run out of black sesame ice cream - sounds intriguing, no? - but I gave the matcha a try anyway.
Georgie, however, she loves the matcha. All about the green tea, is that gal. She even went so far as to say it was her ideal ice cream, being both refreshing and creamy. "It's indulgent in a light way," she assured me. So there you go. Definitely one for matcha-lovers.
But despite my lack of ice cream joy, I'd loved my dinner at Kanada-Ya. The food was authentic (I think), tasted good quality, nicely presented and full of flavour. The service was super speedy too so it'd be a great choice for a pre-theatre dinner if you fancy a change from pizzas, burgers or any of the usual culprits.
I'd like to end with another quote from Georgie - what can I say? She was on form that night - "Easy, quick, delish, boom."
Find out more about Kanada-Ya (and stalk the menu) on their website. Georgie and I were guests at Kanada-Ya but I hope you can tell I have been completely honest in my review. What are your thoughts on Japanese food?